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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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when the British Government announced its accord to the partition of
Poland ?
Arthur Greenwood, Leader of the Opposition., said that " there must
be forever a beacon of freedom, which we call Poland, in the East of
Europe/' and he thought that, if the Prime Minister and the Foreign
Secretary succeeded in allaying " the lurking fears of the Poles with
regard to their future," they would have Cú deserved well of the House
and of the British people and also of the Polish people themselves."
The following extracts were some of the most interesting in this debate :
Commander Sir Archibald Southby (Conservative): Nobody can shut
his eyes to the very general perturbation which exists in this country at the
present time on the subject of Soviet-Polish relations. The question goes
much farther than just a matter between those Governments alone. It
affects the Balkans and the Baltic States and our relationship with the
United States of America. While it is true as the Prime Minister said, that
we should be guarded in what we say, it would be dangerous were it to go
out that people in this country were not greatly concerned as to the future
of Poland, We went to war in order that Polish territory might be pre-
served, so far as we could, from invasion . . . whatever view we may take
about the discussions between Russia and Poland, I think we have to face
the future in a spirit of realism. Indeed, there is no other spirit which
makes the slightest appeal to our great and valued Ally, Soviet Russia.
The fact remains, however, that we gave Poland a definite and categorical
pledge regarding her frontiers. There is no ambiguity about that. There
is the pledge . . .
But what of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia ? What is to be the future
of Finland ? These are grave and very weighty matters. What is our
action going to be if Poland stands by the letter of our bonds to her ? What
is the right hon. Gentleman's action going to be, since he signed that bond ?
We went to war to prevent the dismemberment of Poland by force. Dis-
memberment by agreement might conceivably absolve us from our pledge.
I have said that we live in an age of realism. Russia naturally has very
definite views as regards her frontiers, and, if the rectification of frontiers
can guarantee peace in Europe, in God's name let us rectify them. But
the rectification must take place by agreement and not by force. I do not
think that we can do other than say that, as far as Poland is concerned, we
must agree to the Curzon Line, provided that concessions are made in other
directions which would recompense Poland for territories that she will have
lost in the East, I am more than a little anxious about our foreign policy.
Was the foreign policy enunciated by the Foreign Secretary at Moscow in
all respects the same as the foreign policy agreed upon between the Prime
Minister and Marshal Stalin at Teheran ? If relations there were so
cordial, then why did Soviet Russia administer such a slap in the face to
us and to the United States when we sought to help in solving the Polish
difficulty, because after all we are deeply concerned in the affairs of Poland.
Captain Alan Graham (Conservative) : Honourable soldiers and
sailors respect legitimate authority, and it is not from ideology but from a
sense of principle that they do so. The legitimate national Governments
of Poland, Greece and Yugoslavia have sacrificed everything but honour to
their loyalty to us and to our ideals of freedom for European men and
nations.
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